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tv   Frontline  PBS  April 5, 2012 9:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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( siren wail)ng >> a man was murdered overnight on chicago's south side. police say it happened execution-style... >> on the streets of chicago.. >> youth violence in chicago has gotten world attention. >> stop the shooting! >> stop the shooting! >> we've got over 500 years of prison te at this table. that's a lot of wisdom. >> ex-gang members recruited o stop the violence. >> the violence interrupters have one goal in mind: to save a life.
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>> cobe... >> how can you help me? right now! >> cobe has big-time credibility with the gang members out there. >> eddie. >> half of my life i was in prison. that's why i do what i do now. >> ameena. >> ameena matthews' father was one of the biggest gang leaders in the history of chicago. she gets in where a lot of guys can't get in. >> this is unacceptable for me to be holding this young man's obituary. stop. >> tonight ofrontline... >> we' trying to stop the violence. that's it and that's all. >> the acclaimed documentarthe interrupters. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major funding is provided by reva & david logan, committed to investigave jrnalism as the guardian of the public
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interest. with additional funding from the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and the frontline journalism fund, supporting investigative reporting and enterprise journalism. major funding for frontline and for "the interrupters" is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. with additional funding for this program from the sundance institute docuntary fu and the richard h. driehaus foundation. >> it was a violent night in chicago.
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nine people were shot in just five hours, one person died. >> gregory robinson is the 28th chicago public school student killed this school year... >> he died last friday... >> 124 people have been killed so far this year-- about the number of americans killed in iraq and afghanistan. >> sadly, in another sign of the times, members of ceasefire were also at today's memorial service, hoping to stop any thoughts of retaliation for greg's murder. >> twelve, 13-year-olds are walking around with bulletproof vests on up under their clothes. >> give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. and lead us not into temptation.
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>> all right, let's close up. everybody that's in the meeting, this is serious now, okay? we're in a crisis mode, and we need people to step up to this table and go over and beyond. guys are getting killed for just anything. have there been any conflicts mediated on the front end? from last week to this week? >> two guys was arguing. one guy threatened to blow the other guy's wig back. i got him to calm down, tell him he didn't shoot you, he was just talking. we stopped that one on the front end. >> i have the dirty dozen at the table. we've always had outreach workers, but the violence was not necessarily going down at that point. so in the year 2004, we began
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a new concept called the violence interrupters. most of the violence interrupters come from the hierarchy in some of these gangs. because can't no anybody come in and tell a guy to put his gun down. what you want me to do? >> the violence interrupters have one goal in mind: to stop killings. they're not trying to dismantle gangs; what they're trying to do is save a life. >> i might get shot. >> i better! >> what you mean? >> after what happened a week and a half ago, nobody's been changed. nobody's come through shooting. >> ameena. >> what happened?
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>> by the time we got out there, the fight had just ended. >> the cops pulled up and pulled off. y'all missed thatbleep ). >> the cops pulled up and they left. they're scared. they're scared of the community. >> one group of guys said the young man threatened that he had a gun, and that he was gonna kill him. so he started fighting and ended up getting his teeth knocked out. cobe got him off location. i asked cobe to take him to the hospital. ( man moaning) the block got quiet, and i'm looking down the street, and here comes the sisters of the guy that got his tooth knocked out. they came to defend their brother's honor... with a butcher knife. ( bl)ep the sister calls one of the guys a bitch-ass, punk-ass. the little four- and five-year-
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old baby was doing the same thing. >> i'm gonna knock your bitch ass out. run up, then. run up, then. run up, then. ( bl)ep >> you respecting yourself. she ain't respecting herself. >> i know, but still... >> the story about sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you? words'll get you killed. all of a sudden, the sister ran up with a piece of concrete. one of t girls was about to stab one of the guys. ( shouting) ( bl)ep her cousin picked up the butcher knife. ( shouting continues) ( bl)ep
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dee was in the heat of the moment, that adrenaline was still going, that i'm gonna ( bl) them up. i'm gonna get them back. >> she just hit my man with a rock. >> 830 wolcott. >> i picked up dee. i said, "you need to get off the block for a minute." >> he was out of line. he was out of pocket. he was very disrespectful. and i know how many people i got out here that's willing to take care of the business. >> his family kept calling him. you know, "what's taking you so long so we can come back over there and set that block off?" 'cause if his family would have came to get him... maybe it would have been a death behind it. i know you got some damn fools for family. >> yeah. >> about you. i saw that you wasn't, you know, you was walking away, to defend you and your family. but, and i really, man... man, i thank you. i mean for real. for real, that's what gangsta is about right there. >> i definitely don't want to go back.
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>> wasn't that gangsta? >> can you girls square up like joe frasier? ( laughter) >>i took him over to his cousin's house. we were talking about how he got hit and he tumbled over. like a cartoon character. ooh... so if you get them to laugh at themselves... find that soft spot in that person. not weak, but soft spot. and you just ride on that. >> ameena matthews as a violence interrupter, she's a golden girl. she gets in where a lot of guys can't get in. she knows how to talk to these high-risk young men. and a lot of guys i know that have a lot of murder in their background, they respect her. >> so, he all right? >> the life that i lived, being in shootouts, looking at the devil, face to face. and i look at my sisters and my brothers today, you know, that was once me.
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>> her father was jeff fort, one of the biggest gang leaders in the history of chicago, outside of al capone. fort is serving a life sentence for allegedly conspiring with the libyans to commit acts of terrorism here in the united states. >> i understand the fact that we got polices in here. there is not going to be any killing without killing. >> jeff fort stood up against the police. he was definitely a feared and very revered man in his community. but she never lived off that name. ameena made her own name on the streets. >> growing up, it wasn't his influence that influenced me to do anything. you know, my dad was not there. when i was conceived, he was 16 years old. so when i got older, i was in a mob with a bunch of guys, and i was like the only female, that was the lieutenant. that took care of the business. it was drug selling. hustling. you know, one crew was on the pimping tip. one crew was on the stickup tip.
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drugs, guns, party, fun. i... that was it. my dad wasn't around, and when he got wind of that i was a part of that team, he was kind of hurt. but he couldn't be too hurt. because look at what precedent that he started. >> ceasefire, ceasefire... stop the shooting. >> stop the shooting! >> stop the killing! >> stop the killing! >> young man got shot 22 times. thirteen years old. that's sad. >> we're sick and tired of our babies being killed. >> my son has been killed right here and we're standing here with cameras right here where my son been slain at? come on now. i don't think that's right. >> you say that there's still a code of silence going on in the neighborhood? that people aren't coming forward? >> i can't walk around, go up to people's houses and say, "w killed my son?"
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i'm not a police officer, and i'm not a doctor. you know, i don't know how many times my son... they tell me 22, i don't know how times my son's been shot. see, somebody in the background saying 22. you a doctor, baby? that's my son, baby, you didn't make him. you his auntie. >> we're going to move this on past. >> what you mean, you, what, you don't get what? >> words of encouragement to the family. ( bl)ep ( siren wail)ng >> let me just say this. we just had another homicide. just now, while we're marching. another homicide. it's a war zone and a epidemic. people, we must come together. >> it's just so crazy, man, because it's, like, any time you come outside, somebody get
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killed. i don't know what this world coming to. we got to be out here, man, before things happen. >> all my life i knew right from wrong. i knew if i do this, i get in trouble. but at the time, i just didn't care, though. i always wanted to be like my dad, you know. he is my role model, because he used to always dress slick, wear big hats and suits and, you know, all leather, and i just wanted to be like him. i was 11 years old when my father got killed. he got beat with some seball bats, and that just messed me up. i used to be out there in the streets all through the night. i used to be in jails, fight, kickin' off riots and doing all crazy stuff. just gang banging. >> what up, boy? man, come holler at me, man! what's up?
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>> ricardo cobe williams, he's a younger interrupter, which is a good thing. once he came on board at ceasefire, he began to really turn the heat on. cobe knows how to get in. he talks the language, and he knows what to say, when to say it. >> crazy, man. >> you two guys, man, y'all been around hearin' a lot of bull ( bleep ). both of you all. >> robbing people, breaking in windows, all kinds of stuff. >> man, whenever i gotta do what i gotta do, i gotta do what i gotta do, you know. don't get it all twisted. once upon a time this man was out here too, doing the same thing we done and did. >> cobe has big-time credibility with the gang members out there. >> we gonna wait for the heat to come to us. >> breakin' out-- look at them. what's going on? >> a friend of mine called me, very concerned about her two kids. >> the streets is taking a toll. >> they stay in the same house, and they be at each other because both of them are in two different cliques. >> threatening to kill one another, shooting at each other, it's just crazy. i can't keep coming off the road, you know, because i work for amtrak, and not knowing if somebody's going to kick the
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door in because of this gang's violence. i just packed up and left, yes. i left the apartment in my name so they don't be homeless. so this my little honeycomb hideout. they don't know where i live either. >> your kids don't? >> nope. >> your youngest son's still loed up, right? >> yep, he don't get out till 2016 for attempted murder. and he was 17 when they got him. >> one thing, you still have all three of your kids. >> yes, i thank god for that. people say i'm crazy because i say if i lose one of my sons... i don't want no funeral, i don't want nobody to come, you know, give me condolences. and they say that's mean of me. but that's how i feel. >> so just stay strong and keep your head up. i'm going to try to reach out to them myself.
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>> well, i wish you luck in finding them. >> yeah, just i'll see, what i can do. >> because i know if they have a strong person that's lived that life, i think they could be saved. because i just can't do it anymore. >> violence is like the great infectious diseases of all history. and we used to look at people with pgue, leprosy, tb, as bad and evil people, and something needs to be done about them, and they were put in dungeons. what perpetuates violence can be as invisible today as the microorganisms of the past were. i had been overseas for about ten years at world health, working on infectious diseases. coming back to the u.s., the violence is unavoidable. but i saw it as behavior, not as
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bad people. you can judge it, but it's not what we do in science. >> i never had nothing against poot and them. nothing. when i came up, like i said, they shot at my car. >> for the young people in these neighborhoods, they see violence as their disease. what they expect to die of is this. >> don't tell me you're going to squash something, then go back and do something else, and then you done made me look like a ass. and if that's what you want to do, then you put on big boys' shoes, then you play big boy games. >> violence is a two-step process. the first thought is, "i have a grievance. he looked at my girl, he called me a name, he disrespected me, he owes me money, he is a sunni, he is a palestinian, he's an israeli." the second thought is, that grievance justifies violence. >> at the end of the day, man, nobody gonna win, man. >> our work is about thought
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two. >> i mean, your family hurting behind this ( ble). that's why i'm saying ain't no point, no fit-- you was wrong, you was wrong. ( bl) all that. you know what i'm saying, ( bl), just trying to move on, man. >> so the interrupter's role, like the tb disease control worker's role, is to do this initial interruption of transmission. >> i told the officers that you ain't got nothing to say, you're gonna deal with it yourself. >> you gotta drown yourself with the people and immerse yourself in the bull ( ble). you have to talk as if, "man, i understand, man. i've been there. i know how it is to hurt a m...( ble)." >> i'm not no punk or nothing. >> yeah. >> only thing came to my mind was retaliate. they got to know, they did the wrong person. >> yeah. >> "i hear you, jack. you know, you're 100% right, and i'm with you, man. if you're gonna take care of your business, take care of your business. but check this out. if i know you want to shoot the mother ( bleep ), the police know already, your friends know, then somebody gonna tell on your ass." >> make sure you talk to the individual that did this to me.
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you let him know that you gonna keep this here peace. >> yeah. >> you doing this. >> once you make sense out of the madness, then you start talking about the scientific theory. you start talking about the change of the behavior. then you can give him a history lesson. you know, your daddy was violent, your granddaddy was ( bl) up, he was violent. now your brothers arebleep ) up because you misled them. it's time to save yourself, brother. >> well, just give me time to work it, all right? >> i really understand why it's not easy for people to back down for one reason. because you've been taught all your life, in the community where i grew up in, you know, like... you know, you got to stand up no matter what happens. death before dishonor. when i was 14 years old, this guy beat me down in the streets, and my stepfather took his life right in front of me, and i felt good about it, really. and i was always a shaky criminal. i used to sell fake hash to the
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sailors down on michigan avenue. i used to steal smoke detectors. they called me "the smoke detector bandit." i was playing on women a lot. you know, women would help me. i had a lot of girlfriends that would give me money, because i had a big old afro back them. first i worked for ceasefire in 1999. i told gary i had a bachelor's degreet that time. ( laughing) and gary asked me, he said, "where is your bachelor's degree at?" i say, "look, man, hey, i was just trying to get in." i went back to school. i got my bachelor's degree with my master's degree. i began to understand that we'd been taught violence. violence is learned behavior. i don't mention gang names when i do my mediations, all right? >> at this transitional home for teenage parolees, the residents were in conflict with one another, and they were pulling in gang members from throughout the area. it was about to blow up in a major way. >> the problem that we have right now is about some money that led to a fight. right? how much money was it? >> five dollars. >> it was about five dollars, everybody? >> dude said instead of giving him five dollars, give him 15.
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no, it don't work like that. you ain't gonna get no more than what you owed. >> he said, "i'm not paying you." >> right. >> then five minutes later on, they came up here. >> it took me, as a woman, to stand in the middle of the street with 15 guys that i knew nothing of, and take money out of my pocket to pay $15 to keep peace. no respect for where you live at. >> think this could turn into gun play? >> i think so, because it's gonna escalate, gonna keep going and going. >> if we got to live here, man, i don't want to bring these streets over here, man. i ain't trying to go back to that life. i'm one man. i can't fight all of them. what you think i'm gonna do? >> like this brother just said, anytime 15 guys mob up on you, the first thing that come across your mind, "i need to be strapped to deal with that." if you got to live here and coexist with each other, someone has to be big enough to take the higher road. >> i'm hearing what they're telling me in there, right? and to me it's like starting off with a five-dollar bag of weed. >> it's beyond that. >> it's beyond that. >> but wait a minute. >> i'd be fed up. >> no, no! no, no, no, no, no. you got to play it like a big
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man. i got to play it like a big girl. when i get angry, i can bring some noise if i want to. i go lay it down. i have to. don't make me feel like a punk. it make me feel like, you know what? it's fighting my own ego. i swear to god i wish i had somebody to holler at me like i'm right here hollering at you. i would have not had the felony on my record. you understand what i'm saying? what we gonna do? we gonna fight about another five-dollar bag of weed? >> it ain't worth it. >> they feed off her energy too. so what you going to do, son? tell me. and i'm going to hold you to it. >> make myself better. >> you too. little ameena. >> if they want to let it go, we can let it go. >> all right, i want to see some love.
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>> where you find these strangers at? >> these your people, man. >> where'all find m at? >> today i finally reached toya and her two kids, and we agreed to all sit down together and work things out. this morning, toya was steaming hot. she went back to the apartment she left her kids. she saw kenneth's friend in there, bagging up some drugs. she went back and changed the locks. >> i'm telling you it's hard. you got to have a job out here, man. >> yeah, man, or hustle. one or the other. >> hustling gonna end you up one of two places. >> it really don't matter right now. >> well, if it don't matter, why speak on it? >> i guess that's the same as your life. you not gonna make no progre. >> you just got to humble yourself. you thinking like you want a handout. no one's going to give you anything. >> you talking to him or me? >> i'm talking in general now. if you listening, then i'm talking to you too. >> i'm really not listening to the ( ble) you're saying, if you really want to know. >> that's why you're in the predicament you is now. >> i don't have time for this ( bl).p >> ain't nothing to make nobody happy. >> what you been through that's so hard?
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>> so what the ( bleep ) is you saying, b? you ain't no boss of me. >> push comes to shove, whatever i say gonna go. if i want to, if i don't want no ( bl) out there, ain't nobody gonna be out there, nigga. now what? now what you gon say? >> that's how you look at it. and i'm right there, then it's on. >> but see... hey, hey. hey, bud and kenneth. kenneth and bud. wait... ( bud and kenneth arguing) >> on our way down there i'm like, damn, did i make a mistake? you know what i'm saying? i don't want them to get to fighting under my watch. >> i'm saying, one thing y'all missing, man. y'all is blood brothers, man. y'all ain't no bad kids. both of y'all finished school. both of y'all ain't been to no ( bl) peniten... that's good, man. >> i just hate how my own, my own people just think like, yeah, kenneth, the type of crowd he be around. >> boy, if i wasn't the parent that i was, you wouldn't have made it through school. i made sure you had what you needed to get there. >> hey, but kenneth, i'm going to tell you this. she don't want to seebleep ) happen to y'all, man. >> he can't say when he need, or he need a bond i'm not there. i always bond him out of jail for stuff that i don't even
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believe in. >> i don't need no, no, no other ( bl).p i never served for another man, or none of that ( ble). >> yes, you have. >> always been on my own two. >> yes, you have. yes, you have. >> always been on my own two. >> that's what you want to believe. >> if i, if i, if i had got something from another ( bl), cobe, i took it. >> that's what you want to believe. >> plain and simple. 'cause i feel thebleep ) owed it. >> go to work! you don't have to... >> yeah, i'm right here on roosevelt and ashland. right here. >> ain't no favoritism. >> all right, come to the office, it's heated right now. >> a parent see when a person is led a certain way... >> all right. >> if the clique you are in, right... i ain't putting you on the spot, but if they came at your brother, would you stop them? >> yeah. >> you would. okay. the clique you in, if they came at your brother, would you stop them? >> of course. >> and my thing to you, when it come down to the street game, the only choices, man, is jails, deaths, and institutions. do you feel you can be in a cell for 23 hours a day? a six-by-nine cell? >> no-- no man could be in that place for that long. >> well, what'll happen when you're on the streets, though, little brother, you'll run into a situation out there with your
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brother's associates... you mad at your mama, you mad at your brother, you not thinking right, you high on some reefer, bam! you shoot some ( bleep ) body, right? >> i ain't that type of guy. >> you're not that guy, but... >> your brother not either. look where he at. >> hear me clearly. sixty percent of the guys in the penitentiary were not them kind of guys. they were probably sitting in the same seats like you're sitting in, never thought it would happen to them. i bet you. >> i love my brother to death. he just don't understand, like, it's not really a problem with him. it's really a problem with, like, my mother and grandmother. i just feel like they really do take sides, man. >> i don't got no problems with my brother. i love my mama to death, but she just don't listen or try to just... just try to relate a little bit, you know what i'm saying? and all ( ble) that she done while i'm growing up, you ain't always been peaches and cream in your life either. >> i never said i was, but at the same time, you don't have to go down that road and be the spoiled peach. >> i'm really not. i'm really not. >> you're going to have issues with your mother. every damn kid in the united states, black or white, got issues with their parents. this ain't nothing new. which one of you brothers can cook? >> neither one. >> i could. i know how to cooksome of
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anything. >> you cook your mother a meal one day, man. y'all need to sit down with your mother. you hear me? i know it's kind of tough because you haven't done it, but you need to sit down with your mother, man, have a family day. >> her oldest child, she don't even know i know how to get down on a stove. >> see? >> that's kind of odd to me. that's not coming to me right. it's just not coming to me right. >> man, you know what i'd love to see, though, for you, man? i'd love to see y'all two embrace each other, man. you and your brother, man. for real. >> i'm gonna let cobe handle that one there. >> i'd love to see y'all embrace each other, man. >> and your mother. >> and your mama. >> and your mama, yeah, man. >> your mom, that's what's happening, right there, bro. you know, can you handle that, little brother? huh? i ain't, i ain't gonna force you to do it. you know that. i ain't gonna force your brother. but, uh... >> kenneth, you should embrace your mom or your brother. >> mmm, not right now. >> right. i know y'all not ready to... >> i was sick behind that ( bl).p this your mama, man. i don't care what. you should still always hug your mama, let her know you love her, man.
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( young men laughing) ( siren wail)ng >> i just love englewood. but it's hard knocks, man. it's where i learned all my life's lessons. >> ( yells ): ah, i locked my keys in the car! >> ooh, i don't even know how to do that. >> i got a screwdriver. >> a screwdriver? y'all gonna tear my car up! >> what kind of locks you got? >> whatever. ceasefire back in the hood. most of our mediations come through the community here. they'll tell us that there's some tension in the air and need us to come in and help out. >> quit playing, before i bust
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your nose! >> i'm a pass these out to everybody and they mama. >> just pass them out to everybody and their mama. but i just didn't want to have to see your drawers in the process of passing them out. did i have to? >> no. >> well, why am i still seeing them? >> but i thought you had got shot in your shoulder. but it was in your leg? >> it was these guys shooting at each other and the cars. so i jumped, 'cause i was trying to save my cousin. i had a big old hole in my leg, like this big. >> what your grades like? >> as, bs and cs. >> as, bs and cs? >> and one d. >> what's the d in? it better not be in p.e., or i'm going to hit you in your throat. ( boy laughs) ( kids laugh)ng >> i like those, too. >> boy, you took them from your sister. >> no, i didn't. i bought these. ( kids laugh)ng >> you tnk you're hot, don't you? >> when i was growing up in englewood, we still looked out for one another. to me, it's like there's still some hope left. >> you think you hot. >> first and foremost, i want to
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thank the young brothers coming from calumet city. why don't you stand up in the back, if you don't mind? what happened last week, there was a big conflict with two different groups. we got a chance to really work with them young brothers and a sister. when i met their sister, she made it clear to me. she say, "i'm a sister, brother. you know what i'm saying?" >> i been trying to call you. >> caprysha is a very loving young lady that had not had a chance to have a childhood. substance abuse plays a huge part of the toxicness that she was raised around. >> i was worried. i know you wanted to go see your mother. >> i'll get mad. >> all right, so we just going to keep it moving. you got to get ready to get... do you. be a big girl. you want to go skating this weekend? you do? okay, i'm going to send a car for you this weekend.
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'cause it's my eight-year-old's birthday. if i got time, i'll come get you myself. all right, baby? ( music play)ng where's my husband? come on, come on, come on, come on! come on, come on, come on! yeah! ( whooping) today we're celebrating my daughter's birthday. we're really sad, because caprysha was supposed to come skating with us. >> ( to "happy birthday" ): ♪ may allah bless you... >> so then i got the full scoop. she wanted to get back in touch with her mom, and that caused her to feel, and she acted out
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on some old behavior. she got high. she violated her parole. so she's in the county jail. >> i need you guys to say please and thank you. right, maddie? okay... ( siren wail)ng >> hi, alfreda. >> this is my baby, this is heart. >> i know my mama love me. i love my mama. i know she'd do anything for me. >> hello. >> when my dad got killed, things really just went downhill. my mother then come up start using drugs. after my father died, she couldn't deal with it. and like... that ( bleep ) took a toll on me. >> i'm fin a drink me a cocktail today. i ain't drinking no cocktail.
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i don't want you to keep drinking. >> that's why god is my witness. i'm 38 years old right now, and i said i wasn't going to never use drugs. i wasn't going to never drink. i really started following in my daddy's footsteps, though. selling drugs, hustling, going back and forth to jail. >> what up, granny? >> i know they thought i was comin' in through the back. >> coming up, i was more close to my grandparent. and my grandmother, from day one, stayed on me. >> look at granny! >> happy birthday to me! >> i call him carty, but his name ricardo. carty was one i guess i did do more for and took under my wing. >> when i went to jail, my grandmother bonded me out. i was like, "grandma, i knew you was going to get me out, anyway. i'm your baby." and she say, "go back and see." i went back. grandma didn't do none of that.
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( people singing) i probably have broke her heart a lot of times, doing things i shouldn't have been doing. but she always remind me of the good in me. ( singing and humming al)ng ♪ it's you and me and i... >> he saved his life. because carty had been shot at, probably was shooting at people. something turned him around. i ain't going to say through me and his granddaddy, but... he lucky. >> hey, my granny. >> love you. >> love you too, granny. >> ♪ i seen sunny days that i thought would never end
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♪ i seen lonely times when i could not find a friend... ♪ but i always thought that i'd see you again. ♪ >> ms. madea's always shot from both hips. i was with madea from birth to nine, and from nine to about 15, i went and i did stay with, um, my biological mother. >> now we're talking about my family, because i'm the mother of her biological mother. we need to honor and respect our children. we can't just throw 'em out there and throw 'em away. >> because of the lifestyle that my mother lived, i went through a real rough journey-- being abused, physically, emotionally, sexually, from the age of nine to the age of 15.
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so i just went back to madea. my grandmother lived in an apartment with four of us, and it was roach-infested. you know, once i started learning the game, my goal was to get madea up out of there. madea was the type of woman that... that type of money, "don't bring thatbleep ) in my house." but i got caught up. i got caht up in that one more thousand, one more run. one more big hit. ( praying in ara)ic >> i was introduced to islam through my father. ( group praying together) it was always something inside of me that was constantly saying
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that i have to do better. allah sent me confirmation through someone else. >> she knew what she wanted. that's what led her here. and so we believe that, you know, it was a heavenly marriage. >> o allah, let your blessings and your peace be upon your servant... >> my family keeps me very, very grounded. >> he took your phone? noah took your phone? >> at the end of the day, i have to come in, cook dinner, help with homework, tear some ass out the frame if i have to. >> show him some salaam love. don't do it no more. i'll bust your jaw. ( boys laugh)ng >> my family is really my real job. out there in the community is a piece of cake for me. >> there are times that i can't
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be there physically with her, but i know that she is fearless and she will lay it on the line, and she'll go up against a lion. she will just stand up for anyone because of the experiences she's had growing up where someone didn't stand up for her. >> our mosque is holding a prayer vigil for a kid shot sitting in front of his home, just listening to the radio. corey definitely wasn't in a gang and he was loved by his block. when rage sets in, when ego sets in, when a hennessy sets in... >> i'm going to walk down here to where corey's friends are. you stay right here. >> these young guys say, "let's go get who we think did it." >> i'm hearing 20 different things why that brother got changed. and all of it is stupid. all of it is stupid! 2:00 in the afternoon when these babies coming home from school, y'all shooting. for real? this is unacceptable for me to be holding this boy... this young man's obituary.
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schools, churches, your mama's house, your cars, those are safe zones! when i was about your age, i was making some real stud decisions and some stupid calls that was costing me my life. blood on my hands, in my head. stop. who does this baby belong to? who does this little shorty belong to? he just hanging around y'all? >> that's my little cousin. >> this little... he's just hanging around y'all, right? so he see everything that you all do, right? so if this brother right here catch a case and do a hundred years, whose fault is it? it's his fault? >> uh-uh, ours. our fault. >> our fault. >> teach him righteous. y'all got it? >> yeah. >> y'all got it?
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>> yes. >> you got it? >> yeah. >> all right. i'm looking to you. >> this is my little brother on the left side and my little cousin on the right side. tyrone williams and percy day, jr.
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>> luis was killedrying to sign michael's altar. i held him till his last breath. i didn't want to let him go.
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>> i've lost at least 20 guys. it's no answer to it, you know? one of your guys get killed, ( bl) i'm going to kill that nigga and make his family suffer. i don't want no shrine, beer bottles, drinks, niggas crying, smoking weed. pictures of ( ble)... t-shirts. i don't want none of that ( bl).p i don't want to die looking stupid as hell. no, ( ble) that. >> 107.5 wgci, tony sco athe morning riot and that's right, it is the first day of school for all chicago public school students. >> that's right, and we want you to hit us up, be safe out there.
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>> youth violence in chicago has gotten world attention. >> 16-year-old honor student derrion albert was attacked as he walked home from school. >> a senseless killing this time was caught on videotape, has put chicago's deadly epidemic in the spotlight. >> now, there's debate on a national level, which all basically started with that viral video that came out from the cellphone of the clash between the two gangs outside fenger high school that killed derrion albert right in the middle. ( students shouting and screaming ) >> i seen the video. and i said, "man, i hope his mother does not see this." >> you guys, come on down. >> there's a lot of people here for your brother. you know that, right? there's a lot of people, okay? >> stay in that circle. we got security on both sides of
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you. >> anjanette needed help getting him a funeral. she needed help trying to make sense of what just happened to her son. i got resources foanjanette to put derrion in a mausoleum, next to her mother. >> only the family. nobody else. >> ameena's very, very important to us. everything i went through, she was right there with me. >> we're praying for this family. we're praying that god will heal their hurts. and i'm praying for all of you, my brothers and my sisters. this is a problem in our community. it's a problem in our city. it's a problem in our nation. >> once the media has gone back to wherever they came from, we have to step up to the plate and make something happen over there. >> ...year after year, who are not doing anything about this problem. i'm talking about the police department. >> the person that was videotaping the ( ble)p damn beating was saying...
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"zoom in, zoom in, put that nigger to sleep." that's what you heard the people saying in the background. so that goes to show you the mindset. 'cause i know ameena, she's spending a lot of time with the family still. they trying to fix his face so they can have a open casket. i heard some interviews from the young brothers. they say they don't know why the hell they fight. they just hate each other. the guys from altgeld gardens, they were attending carver school, which was turned into a military school. a lot of guys didn't want to go to a military school, so they transferred the guys to fenger. so now you got these guys coming from a whole other neighborhood. >> when they laid there and closed down carver high school, and started letting these guys get to school any kind of way they can, riding on the bus, walking, or what have you, you left it to them that they had to defend themselves. and the ville is fighting altgeld gardens. they've been doing that since the '60s, man. >> we up against history. >> yeah, and we got toespect history, but, it shouldn't play a big factor in this table. man, we got over 500 years of
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prison time at this table. that's a lot of ( ble)p wisdom. how the hell are we gonna let these kids school us, that we were schooling them? >> we want to try and work this conflict out. because right now they just had another big fight up at fenger while we talking. the beat goes on. >> that's that brother right there, man? they put him in the... that's the body? damn, that's ( bleep ), man. >> this young brother that we just finished doing some mediating with, close friend just got killed. the possibility of retaliation at that moment was very, very likely. >> they just shot right now on 30th and kedvale again. >> 30th and kedvale? get the ( ble) out of here. again right now? >> right now. a couple of minutes ago. ( horn honks) >> police are going to be harassing a lot of guys over here, whether they're affiliated or not. i think the police should enforce the laws, but i think it's the way they go about it. there's a reason why people in the community don't really like
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talking to the police. they see other guys: they see their nephews, they see their brothers, they see their sisters, you know, being harassed. just because there's a high presence of police right now, that doesn't mean nothing for these guys, man. within 30 hours, there was about seven shootings. >> eddie always presents himself as a preppy, school-going, collegiate type of guy. >> i said, look, man there ain't nothing shakin' man, they ain't tryin' to hear it and... >> when you talk to him about his street past, "oh no, we don't want to go there, man. we don't want to go there." but at the same time, he came from the lifestyle with the latino gangs. and he wasn't no low-level member. he was right there with the leader. they called him bandit, because he would end up taking something from you. >> my nickname? ( laughs) well, i was pretty good at stealing cars. i was, give me a screwdriver and less than a minute, and i'm gone with your car. well, this is the block in little village that i actually grew up in. i have a lot of memories here. right hand to god, i had about almost half of this parking lot
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full of stolen cars at one time. but one day, the city, i guess, found all the stolen cars. so there was about maybe seven, eight tow trucks, just lined up, taking these cars out. most of our parents, immigrants from mexico. worked two jobs. we were out here in the street, roaming around. my dad was a hardworking person. he fixed cars. and i would see my dad's hands, and they'd be full of calluses, you know, and, you know, cuts all over his arm and burn marks, you know, from the blowtorches. from day one, i told myself, i am never going to be fixing cars. it wasn't me. i didn't feel it. it lit up in me, when i saw some things in the neighborhood. and i would see these guys hanging out, a lot older than i was. they had the nice cars, had the girls, were flashing their colors. what it was is they had a pride of who they really were.
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they had an identity and they were proud of that identity. half of my life i was in prison. that's why i do what i do now. to me it's a personal thing. how you been feeling? you've been moving around a little more now, or what? >> yes. before i couldn't even walk. my dressing, this is what i got to clean. you know, because i got to take a dump right here in the bag. >> how much of an impact are we making? if we stop one shooting tonight, we did good. >> ...where the bullet went through? >> but how do we stop maybe the same person from shooting somebody the next day? >> has anybody been here to visit? >> a couple of my friends. >> they've been cool, or they've been like, oh man, ( bleep ) that. >> yeah... they be on some hype ( bl).p you know how it is. >> am i really helping? some people i can't. even as much as i want to, they don't want the help.
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>> the needless and brutal violence that continues to take our children from us is an outrage. >> youth violence is not a chicago problem. it is something that affects communities big and small, and people of all races and all colors. it is an american problem. >> i promise to work as long as necessary to rid our count of this plague. >> secretary duncan, i've heard you say those things many times. what's different now? >> what's different that it takes capturing derrion albert's death on video to wake the country. we were dealing with children being shot every single day. i never saw a crowd like this, ever. >> now, all the professionals working in this field, they knew about the hostilities around fenger. so there was no way in the world that should have really occurred. i talked to the mayor's office today. we're gonna bring together the guys that are in the conflict. and they've agreed to meet with us. i think wean get all the brothers we need. correct me if i'm wrong. >> if they willing to come sit down here and talk with us, you know, people need to talk to them. come to see what's on their
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mind, the kids' mind. >> right. >> what's up, tay? you just got kicked out of fenger, man. you want to go back to fenger? >> yeah, you know i do. >> so how you feel about them people come from altgeld gardens out there? >> that's what it is though, man. either fighting or shooting. that's how you got to solve y'l prob... these problems nowadays, 'cause if you don't do it, they gonna try to do it to you. >> if you don't go hard, it's your life. ( siren blips) ( music play)ng >> me and my wife was looking for a house. i didn't want the kids to grow up to really experience the things i've experienced all my life. we way out here, man. way out yonder, man.
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( cheering) >> instead of gun violence, we probably have to worry about rabbits and deer, and i'm okay with that. >> man, my wife came from the streets. she used to be around rough riders, people who'd lived the same lifestyle i lived. >> i end up getting pregnant at about 16 and did a 360, so... >> i met my wife in 2002. and she already had three kids. >> it wasn't love at first sight. probably not even love at second sight. he's very nerdy. very, very nerdy person. >> man, my wife a mess. but, like most wives... no, no, but i love my wife. >> that's short. he at the 30. oh! >> i see quinn! i see quinn! >> cobe as a dad, he's really good. he's there for every football game. my kids really enjoy him, especially my daughter.
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that's... that's her everything. her cobe. >> ooh! >> cobe. >> ooh, ooh! dre! >> oh. ( all laughing) >> what really made me start thinking more about doing the right thing, i started thinking about my son. i remember i was in jail, and they brought me out with handcuffs until the judge called us, and.... my son, he ran up to me and hugged and kissed me and grabbed me and started crying. so, instantly i got so emotional and, like, i think tears was coming, you know what i'm saying? and, like, "dad, dadi love you. i love you." as i'm going back to the back, my son just like... broke down in front of everybody, just crying. "i want my daddy. i want my daddy." i started thinking more about him. wanted to change my life because i wanted to be there for him.
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>> there was so much that they had to do. >> to get you released? >> yeah, to get me released. >> caprysha had to stay in the jail for almost a month. i was the first call on her way home. and that experience was just such an eye-opener for her. she said she didn't want to do it again. >> my mom had just went to court. they talking about taking her last four kids. >> she's been in over 15 different homes. she's raised herself and her sisters and brothers. while her mom was out doing whatever her mom was doing. >> the money that i get, i'll go buy my drugs and start selling drugs out on the block, just to make money for my sisters and brothers, for them to have what they wanted. i blame myself for my sisters and them being in dcfs. i blame mylf for a lot of stuff that i know that it wasn't my fault. >> like, what's your goal? >> to get my high school diploma, go to college to be a pediatrician, and, like, take care of, like, and then with like, my free time, take care of my... my sisters and them.
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>> and her saying what her goals and dreams are, who am i to say, "you can't do that. look at your record"? look at ameena's record. being a violence interrupter, nothing surprises me. but being a mother and seeing this 18-year-old never riding on a carousel kind of blew my mind. it's true that it's only so much that i can do. and that's just one caprysha. but it's... it's hundreds of thousands of capryshas out there. now, this is a very expensive manicure. if i see you out there biting your nails, we gonna be on the ground, boxing. you better be worried. >> how does it feel? nice, right? >> yeah. >> don't slap him. don't hit him. enjoy it. >> so where are you from?
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>> yeah. >> rockford. >> and what made you move all the way out here? >> 'cause i was getting in trouble. i used to fight every day at school. >> where does that get you? >> huh? >> where does that get you, fighting? >> nowhere. >> finally figured that out, huh? >> yeah. >> only for one brief second you become the winner. >> mm-hmm. >> but then, the only thing you win is your own pride. but where's that gonna take you anywhere in life? >> i don't go out and start trouble with everybody. >> right. >> you know, you deserve to be happy. you know, you 19. you deserve, like you said, to be having girly stuff done. that's a whole different hand, man. >> hmm. >> why do you feel like you want to cry but you don't want to? >> i don't know. >> it's okay. i cry.
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big rls cry. angels make prayer in your tears, when you, when you're crying and you're grateful. when you're crying and you're asking god to help you. i'm really so glad i met you, man. you know? >> do you guys remember where we left off last week? we're working on our what? >> backgrounds. >> backgrounds, right? it's about using your brush. crisscrosses. c's. >> last year, i had a hard time going to schools. i was, like, hey, look; i work for a violence prevention program. a lot of them didn't want to acknowledge that there was issues in their schools. >> i used a pencil to sketch it out. >> oh. >> and i shaded the background. >> you shaded it. okay. >> namaste contacted ceasefire. they were actually focusing after school about violence and how they could help the community and so forth.
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and i was, like, what do you think about the idea of maybe introducing art for them to express themselves about violence? now this one right here, i kind of really like this one. >> and when i was in prison, painting was my form of dealing with my issues and my problems and really discovering myself. >> you got this angel, he's in hell, and behind him is like some demons, taunting him... >> art is kind of a way to hook the kids, what they're thinking about. >> what's the one thing in the neighborhood that you wish people could focus on more to help out? >> spray painting. >> spray painting. what about you? >> the shootings in my neighborhood. >> the shootings? >> because my mom's scared that there's gonna be a shooting going on me while i'm outside. >> i would want them to help with the shooting, because that really bothers me. >> why does it bother you? >> because there was this one time when our neighbors got into a fight and...
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i don't know what else happened, but somebody started shooting. and... ( crying) i really don't... >> being part of this program, that's a great thing, because it shows that you care and that you want to do something about it. >> and i just wish that these kids, it doesn't affect them the same way it affected me. my coping mechanism is keep going, keep going, keep going. keep working. i think i stay busy just to stay out of bull ( ble), and... try to forget about some of the things that i've done.
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when i was 18, a very close friend of mine was paralyzed. i'm feeling this anger, i'm feeling this rage. i'm feeling like, "they shot one of our guys, we're going back." when i pass through that block, it seems all different. and i try to kind of rewind. and no matter how much i try to remember it, it just don't come out. it's hard for me to say the victim's name, and... and even the crime. i guess i really try to detach myself, like, not putting a face. but in reality, the face is there. the face is still there. (music from ice cream truck) and... i'd say by the fire hydrant over there.
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this dude just kind of came out the cars. shot him pretty much point blank. it was a whole bunch of his friends, too, that were behind the cars. and i was trying to shoot them as well. but it was more like on the defensive side by that time. it was more like, just to make sure that they didn't shoot at me. it's funny because this bloc itself has claimed a lot of lives. this one particular block right here. ceasefire. >> ♪ this foolish shooting, it must stop ♪ ♪ it's gettg cruel, children going to school ♪ ♪ and gotta duck shots ♪ no more bliss, ignore this we must not ♪ ♪ like latosha hawlin, she was murdered on the bus stop ♪ ♪ two gunshots and she just dropped ♪
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♪ daily living, i speak the grief of the streets ♪ ♪ so they maybe listen and pay attention ♪ ♪ help lead us through this mess we infested with death ♪ ♪ and it leaves us too depressed ♪ ♪ like when derrion albert was beaten to his death ♪ ♪ had his mama too upset, crying speaking to the press ♪ ♪ man, it's too much, we began to lose touch ♪ ♪ jesse jackson took every action and rode the school bus ♪ >> do you all think we can establish some type of coexistence or peace up in fenger high school if we all work together? >> fenger can be a better place if the gardens won't come up to there, trying to... (abrupt laughter) >> listen, hear her out. hear... give everybody respect. hear her out, hear her out. i live in altgeld gardens. and, all this, it's the gardens, and they animals. it's both ways. >> i cannot believe that i'm looking at what has happened to the young people here. you don't have to fight anybody. >> they always giving you speeches and stuff. everybody don't think the same way. everybody don't think the same way.
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>> it's about you all's life. and you all need to be heard all the way through ends of sentences. so i'm gonna throw some scenarios at you, and i want you all to just answer honestly. one of your friends was just beat up at a party over the weekend. you see a couple of kids that your friend identifies as the dude that stole on him. what do you think would happen next? >> i feel that we gonna fight. because it wasn't... it wasn't no problem when they jumped on my friend over the weekend, so if we see them walking, we gonna fight. >> it ain't like y'all put it. it's not that easy. you might walk away and somebody might put... hit you in your head with a bat or something. >> w like to fig? >> i don't like to fight, but i'll fight if i have to. that's how it is, but... i'll fight. i'll fight anybody. >> everybody fighting. >> why you so angry? why... why you love to fight? >> because it's just the way i was brought up. i just always had to fight. >> always had to fight.
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>> basically. >> it's hard out there. when i grew up, i used to wake up wanting to bite somebody. just bite somebody. and i understand a hellraiser liking to figh and walking away from a fight ain't always meaning that you punk. not to them. when they look at it, they gonna think you a punk and little bitch and all that. but... >> as i got older and weighed out my consequences and saw everybody that i was raised with that loved to fight was in the penitentiary or dead... does that mean you a punk, still? >> it's a myth that most of the violence is gang-related, because a lot of the violence is interpersonal conflict. guys get into it for the most pettiest reasons out here. so it's all about respect and disrespect. not being accepted in the overall society, a lot of people feel ostracized, so what they do? they try to dominate their surroundings. >> "i didn't eat this morning.
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i'm wearing my niece's clothes. i just was violated by my mom's boyfriend. i go to school and here comes someone that bumps into me and don't say, 'excuse me.'" you hit zero to rage within 30 seconds. and you act out. >> some of these kids, man, they don't care about tomorrow. "i'm trying to survive today, right now. i'm trying to live right now. i'm trying to make sure i don't get shot. i'm trying to make sure that my boy next to me doesn't get shot. and if he does, guess what? i'm gonna go over there and shoot them, too."
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>> so this is what violence interrupters do. reduce shootings and killings. and then the deeper part of the whole program is changing norms. in chicago, the interrupters have interrupted about 1,400 such events. we average about 40% to 45% drops in shootings and killings in the areas where we put it. >> have you d incidents where the police feel that you should have given them information and you didn't, and that you were on the side of the offenders? >> if we were to do at, we would not be effective. >> we are trying to keep ceasefire neutral, uh, politically, as far as the relationship with law enforcement and the community. >> i mean, i'm confused when you say neutral. how are you seen as being a neutral force in that area? because there's right and there's wrong. >> it's not about right and wrong on one side.
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we don't want law enforcement thinking that we are coddling these criminals and we're hiding information so they can continue doing negative behavior. and we don't want the community thinking that we're stool pigeons reporting information that they give us to law enforcement. >> you know, the right and wrong of these conflicts is all point of view, whether you're going to take it back one day or five years or 200 years. i mean, everyone has got a grievance, and so we just have to say that no matr what,
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police, people down here on ceasefire staff. you know, "you're hiringnt the s
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house. he was looking for 'em. >> ( talking on phone ): ain't find your bitch ass yesterday, nigga. ( bl) that ( bleep )-ass nigga. >> what's up, what's up? my man flamo, he'll make you laugh. but if you ( bleep ) with him, you better bring it on. >> these mother ( ble) came here, man. >> boy, it's gonna make it better for me. >> i'm sorry to hear about your brother, but still though, that don't make ( bleep ) no right. >> i need my phone. i walk around with my pistol... can you grab my phone, brother? i can't, you know...
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>> man, you crazy, man, be out here like this. and i respect y'all, you know what i'm saying, what you doing and everything, that's cool. i'm not with ceasefire. >> what i'm saying is, we can't erase what already happened, but the whole thing is, you gotta look at it like, man... >> you can't erase what happened, you right. and you can't predict what the ( bl) i'm finna do. ( bl)ep >> you know, we just try to work ( bl) out. >> we try to offer you options and solutions to the problem. >> man, ( ble) this ( blee). ( bl) a problem. ( bla solution. for my mama, nigga, i come in your crib and kill every mother ( bleep ) body. >> two of your brothers gone. if you be gone, that ain't gonna do nothing but hurt your mama. >> she'll be all right. >> how many kids you got? i'm claiming four, that's it. >> all right, i'm just saying, so if you go to jail, who gonna take care of your kids? >> that's the thing. god taking care of us now. he gonna take care of them. just like when i do what i'm gonna do.
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he gonna take care of me, too. >> but you was locked up before for the same ( bleep ) though. man, i been... i'm 32 years old. i been locked up 15 years of my life. what that mean? what the ( bleep ) that mean? that's where i grew up at, ( bl) dammit. ain't no shame, ain't no secret. ( bl)ep soft-ass niggas out here ain't doingbleep ) but tricking. that ain't the police, is it? what's that on the corner? i know these punk-ass police still wante. mothers gonna have to kill me. >> now that ( ble) crazy, man. >> how can you help me? right now. how can you help me? >> i mean, the only thing, like i say, the only thing i can do is try to get to know you more, spend a little time with you, and try to work with you, man. >> so that mean you would take me out to dinner, then? we can go to lunch right now. and we can sit down, we can talk about this mother ( bleep ) problem. that's what you telling me? >> yeah, yeah. >> i'm gonna hold you to that ( bl) damn ( bleep ). >> yeah, we could go out if that's what you wanna do. >> when? when? >> we could go out now. >> right now? >> yeah. >> let me go put my pistol up.
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>> we'll just see. hot rod, make sure though, man, he ain't got ( bleep ) on him. >> i'm... i'm good. i ain't got nothing. >> it's a rough one. i think that's one of the worst ones i had. he kept coming and going with us. one minute i think i'm reaching him, he calmed down. then he blow right back up. anytime you got a person who'll stay there and talk with you, you got a chance of working it out with them. >> melvin, these... this is the time of the month we go over the conflicts that we turn in once a month. >> before the meing started, tio talked to him for a nice little minute. tio was telling him, "just come listen. just check it out. if you don't like it, you can walk out right away." >> i'm gonna shift the agenda to just bring up a hypothetical problem that's taking place somewhere in our town. let's say somebody tricked on your brother. and somebody called the police and said that he has some guns in the house. and the police came and locked your brother up. they found two guns, and they put your mother in handcuffs.
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and you know who the guy is that told on your brothers. now, how would we resolve a conflict like that? >> if we gonna keep it 1, that's real real hard. when you put mama into somebody else's business, that's... that's super-duper hard. >> we're not gonna be able to be effective in all interventions. >> okay. >> there's gonna be some that gonna slip through the cracks. >> i let him know that, "hey, you get messed up, you add to the burden." so what you gotta do is you gotta put your little personal pride aside and start dealing with this thing on a realistic, responsible way to start trying to figure out a way to get your brother from up out of that drama and ease your mother. >> you wanna be tough, to be a hero, going to be like the rest of our guys who's locked up. >> i think thas od for now. got some solid feedback. leave it alone at that. all right, so this is what's happening right now. we got a situation over at michelle clark high school. i think when you first started meeting with him, he was on ten. >> right. >> and now i think he's at, like, a level five. the only problem now, cobe, if he was to see this guy tonight, there's gonna be a problem. what's gonna happen now, you
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gotta babysit him. you and hot rod gonna have to take turns. >> okay. >> i know you tired of waiting. let's get out of here, man. ceasefire for life. >> man, about time. >> cobe is one of the best violence interrupters, but he knows how to walk away. that's very important, because if you don't know how to walk away, you can end up getting hurt. 8424? >> we've had some close calls. several violence interrupters have been shot at. brother joel. still in a lot of pain? >> this is the first time one of our violence interrupters ever got shot. i came up here to tell you we appreciate you. and, uh, everything you did to try to mediate that particular conflict. i'm just glad you, uh, survived. you know? >> there was a couple guys down the block arguing over some money. as i was approaching them, i had like, something telling me, like, it wasn't even the right moment to even interrupt them. >> right. >> one of them said, "who are you? you ain't from around here."
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and then, um, and that's when he shot me up. >> when you turned your back? >> yeah, when i turned my back. >> so you got shot in the ankle and in the back, right? >> they opened my whole stomach open. >> yeah, that's tough little brother. um, because the day you got shot there were like 16 shootings in six hours. because i need you to know, all the guys came up here friday. all the brothers were here. >> yeah, zale was telling me. >> yeah, we were here, you know. and, uh, hmm... it's... it's just kinda tough, that's all. >> i understand. >> when i thought about you, uh, getting shot and your father was there-- because i have sons, you know, got a son like, 24, got another son that's, like, 28 years old, believe it or not-- so when i thought about it... (clears throat)
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i gotta collect myself, that's all. yep. and i'm only human, you know. yep, we be good, we be all right though. you know, we just gotta keep on pushing. okay? appreciate you, little brother. all right. okay, i'm gonna get on up out of here. and i'll be back wednesday. >> all right. >> all right. yep. oh man. yeah. ( church organ playing) >> i'm begging you, my brothers, i'm begging you, my sisters, let god do what god needs to do for duke. once we lay this brother down in the ground, we got work to do. jesse smith got shot in a retaliation for another student that got shot. but it wasn't jesse that did
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the shooting. the family has to heal, and we have work to do. >> i'm just seeing in the last ten, 15 years, random violence like i've never seen it before. last year, of the 125 homicides where we serviced those families, about 90% were young people. these children don't expect to live past 30. they come to these funerals and i watch them, and they represent, and they put themselves in the place of the person in the casket. these younpeople are, in reality, saying, "this is what i want to happen when i'm killed." >> affectionately known as duke... i heard little buzzes in the air that they were coming to shoot the funeral up to get the person that they were intending to get. i called for all hands on deck. left behind his loving mother, lanea smith. >> the mother got in touch with ceasefire.
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i've never met this mother before. she said, "i need you to be there, ameena." i just would want somebody to do that for my son. (crying) >> a lot of y'all might not know me, but... >> i need everybody from the ages of 13 to 24 to stand up. >> go ahead, go ahead.
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>> i'm the second oldest daughter to jeff fort. to ones that call malik chief. and i'm fed up. because each and every one of you all can be duke right here. i'm gonna be real honest with you all, because see, we real talking up in here, because duke is real, laying right in front of us. and it's a reason why this brother is here. i see these red caps. my brothers. i know we hurtin' because we love duke. but we got a responsibility to bring up our community to be vibrant. whatever it is that's going on, cease the fire, call a truce. >> i was the chauffeur for dr. martin luther king when sclc made their first venture into the north by way of chicago. the black community, we were
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the nobodies. and the civil rights era gave us hope that we could be somebody. how can the president of the united states be a black man? i never thought i'd see that in my lifetime. but while i'm seeing the president on television and the images of him leading the free world, i'm still burying black kids. it just doesn't make sense to me. >> oh, i'm gonna get stuck in this snow. where my man at? where he at? where flamo? how you doing, sir? >> i'm all right, hold on. >> okay. what's up, what's up, flamo? how you feeling today, man? you all right? >> yeah. >> how things been going for you? >> well, you know, i can't sell drugs right now, so i got to gamble.
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man, i just lost. >> i'm just so happy, man, you calmed down though, man, you know? you been thinking in another way, and that's... that's very good, man. >> man... it's hard. i wanna stop doing what i'm doing, but ( bleep ), don't push me. >> right. >> and you know the good thing? i stopped a little commotion on the block a little while ago. >> you stopped something today? >> yeah. as i'm talking to him, i see they want somebody to intervene and stop him and tell him to go his way and he go his way. >> you intervened and stopped all that from happening? >> yeah. >> so how do you feel about what you did? >> personally, at the time, i just felt like these mother ( bleep ) were making noise and i'm upstairs watching tv and trying to get high. and they made a big-ass scene in front of the crib. so ( bleep ), i tell them to move on or i'm gonna get in there, ( bleep ) them both up. >> oh, flamo, nonviolence, nonviolence. i'm gonna be waiting right here on the side, rodney.
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okay? oh! what's that in your hand? >> it's a blunt, man. >> hey man, but flamo, man, let me tell you, i don't ride like that, you ow, i don't ride with no blunts and ( bleep ) in here, man. >> i know, man, that's why i ain't tell you, see? >> well, i'm saying you should have enough respect for me, don't do that though. police pull up, everybody in here gonna go to jail. >> let me get rid of the evidence. >> hell, man, that ain't cool at all. >> i wasn't thinking. >> you weren't thinking? >> that's why i'm trying to get into the mode of doing what's right, man. i know i got a little screw missing on the attitude side. i used to want to get in tune with the gang bangers and gun slingers. like, wasn't none of that worth it. because out all the stuff i had to do and done back then, i ain't got nothing to show for. none that i done, negative. my friends in jail. my friends, drug addicts or whatever. it seemed like you know how
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life repeat itself as a cycle. you just be one of the persons that telling the story. i'm trying to be one of the ones telling the story. i don't wanna be the one just living lifestyle on these streets, struggling and, you know, gotta keep harming, doing wrong and all this other nonsense. >> all right, man, i'm gonna holler at you, boy. >> all right, ceasefire brother. >> ceasefire. >> today i brought this young man home fm prison. he'd been gone for like two or three years for armed robbery. and the only thing he kept saying, he wanted to see his little brother and his two sisters. ( shouting in excitement)
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>> what's up, c? it's gonna be all right. it's been a long time. >> yes. >> a lot of changes. >> mm-hmm. long time. you know, two years and ten months. before you went to jail, i really, like, noticed you as lil' mikey, but now you not lil' mikey no more. >> hated it, but i ain't gotta do that no more. i missed your graduation. i ain't gonna miss yours. and i definitely ain't gonna miss yours. what about that role model paper mama was telling me about? >> it's about you and me. about how i miss you. i hope you get to see one sometime >> right. this the old mikey that you say was your role model, right? >> mm-hmm. >> i don't want him to be your role model, because he was a different person than he was at home than he was on the block.
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hopefully this mikey will be your role model. >> uh-huh. >> your daddy will be coming home soon, won't he? >> 2013. >> 2013. how long your daddy been gone? >> 17 years. >> i'm here for you. >> i'm here for y'all, now. too long. >> it's real tough for people who get out of prison, man. and lot of times when you get out of prison when you can't find no job, you get discouraged and like, "man, it's hard out here, man. should i go back to doing the ( bl) i used to do?" >> he sent me a text message. >> when he got out, he tried really hard. until he found his job. >> a-ha! where your boy at, stephon? >> even when they laid him off, he was very active.
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i'd be like, "why are you going out there, you're not getting paid." it's like, "because." (laughs) "eventually they'll get some funding. i have to go, though. this is what i'm supposed to be doing." and he stuck with it, and he's back. >> get your mother's day gift! i made that print up, but it ain't dry yet.
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>> hello, hello, hi, hi. >> yay, he's here. >> you're like, damn, about time he shows up, right? how you been? >> good. >> how about by the neighborhood? >> a kid got shot. paralyzed from the waist down. >> did you know him? >> yeah. he lived downstairs from us. >> really? oh, my gosh. if anything like that happens, guys, now you know you could get in touch with eddie. >> especially if you just want to talk, you know. >> you guys can tell me these things too, you know. yeah? no? no? eddie's a little bit more equipped to deal with it. >> 'cause i've got a cousin i'm afraid of. because his mom's in the hospital and he started drinking and smoking. he wears a lot of bad colors. so, yeah, i just wanted to talk to you about that. i think he's gonna get shot
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or get killed because of all the bad stuff that happened. my cousin, i know he has a gun, like in his bedrm. like, um, i don't know, it's like, i'm really afraid for him, because, like, i don't know, he might like, um, i don't know. >> you know, i mean your cousin probably right now feels kinda hopeless, feels probably like he's alone. why not do these things? you know? "nobody cares if i get locked up. nobody cares if i get shot." i think he still can change. like, how i know, like how you told us about how you were in a gang and stuff, and how you changed. >> but, you know, also it takes time. it took time for me. it took a long time for me. you tell me like where he's at, i'll go... i'll go, i'll go to his house and i'll talk to him. i mean, i wish your cousin was here just to listen to what you're saying, because i'm sure he'd probably be touched and moved by how you feel about it, and how concerned you are about him. and them guys would love to have
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you, you know, in their circle. but when they see you doing right, they see you doing good, it's like they look at that and they envy that, because they wish they were in your shoes. and these guys keep messing with you, man, just call me, bro, call me. all right? >> yeah. >> all right, cool, bro. all right, man. >> politicians say chicago's a war zone and they want the military to fight back. some lawmakers want governor quinn to deploy the national guard to chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods. >> and my conversation with the national guard was, "is it possible for you to come in and assist the chicago police department?" you endangering the lives of all of us! >> he comes to the meeting to talk about gangs, guns and drugs, but there's no talk of
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jobs, contracts and opportunities. >> we got to defend our own people. we gotta solve our own problems. >> he has ceasefire and their models to stop the violence, and in essence, that's just a band-aid to this big issue that's going around us. every single day, man, they asking for jobs. they're like, "i'm stuck right now, man. like, i don't even know what to do. like, i'm feeling the pressures from everywhere. i'm pretty much gonna be homeless." all these things lead to violence. >> reducing the violence is not a band-aid, it's actually the essential pathway to a neighborhood being able to develop, for the schools to be able to get better, for the kids to get rid of their stress disorders, for businesses to feel safe enough and well enough to be able to come into these neighborhoods. >> we don't have enough resources to go around, so the doc really just wants to change the conversation around violence.
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let me finish, all right? if you can't feed these young guys, they're not going to listen to you. bottom line. look, the african-american community and the latino community have been beaten down so long with poor schools, lack of jobs, hopelessness, despair. a lot of people can't stick with peace if they don't have a stake that they can hold on to. >> break the window, that's on you. break it. you going to go to jail. >> i'm not worried. i'm not worried. >> you ain't got no life. >> this is ( bleep ) for real. >> this is an every day, this is what they do. me being at this site and being the only female, it's not working. it's not working. he called me a bitch, and i spit on him. and he came to my window and spit on me.
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they, they wanna fight me. they trying to fight me when i come back to the site. but i think i'm gonna just go... >> i'll call the house right now. >> yes, sir? >> you promise me? >> well, let me go ahead and call my little people from the greens and you know, we could go ahead and do this, because i'm not worried. >> caprysha, shut up. >> he not funna scare me. and you know, i'm funna hang up, 'cause i'm funna hang up this phone. i'm funna hang up. >> he's not gonna be good until i see you. i'm gonna come out there. >> i'm not... i'm not, you know, i'm gonna actually fight them without no problem. >> but why? why you gonna risk bustin', getting cut, all of that, scratched and all that? why? you too pretty for that. my baby. you gotta be tired. you gotta be tired of that fighting. >> they 18 and 19, i ain't.
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>> but you can't spit on nobody. that can start a war. >> that's why i be telling... >> did you know that? >> that's why i gonna be telling people i know you. >> but can't be spitting on nobody, though. so what, knowing me or not; them knowing that you know me, that don't... it's your actions. you understand what i'm saying? for real, mami, do you for real? caprysha has been through hell and back. it's tough. caprysha. trying to process emotions about not having a mom and dad around. i have a vision in my head of my dad on this white horse riding through 79th street, coming back for me. me getting shot in the game was god telling me, "you got to make your own choices." my family knew exactly who did
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it, and i got a phone call from my dad while i was in the hospital, telling me how sorry he was, he apologized, it's gonna be some answers for it. and why? why, dad? leave that boy alone. that was the last encounter that i had with the game. and as i look back, that was my first mediation. >> how's that thing been doing with you, job searching, everything else? >> it's been hard. i ain't found no job yet. but i ain't gonna give up. >> i been working with lil' mikey for a while. even while he was in prison, he kept stressing he wanted to apologize to them people he robbed at the barber shop. >> we don't know how this might turn out.
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we going to talk to them. >> if they accept it or not, it's still like... i know i made a mistake. and i'm asking for y'all forgiveness. >> you kinda nervous going here? >> i think i'm gonna start feeling it when i get in the shop. >> how you all doing? i undetand that... on august 24, 2007, that me and two other fellas came in here and stuck the place up. i know i'm deeply... i'm deeply sorry. i know i made a mistake. i was 15. and i was following the crowd, but now i'm older. i'm more mature than i was. and i wanted to let y'all know that i was sorry for what i did on my behalf. i don't know how these two other brothers feel about themselves. but i know i made a complete 360 doing my, uh, almost three years of being incarcerated. >> well, with me, my daughter was in here, and my baby. and you just don't know the
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impact that you put on my life. holding us with guns. i'm nervous right now even meeting you. and i thank god that you have changed your life, but you just don't know what that have did to me and my kids. i deal with this every day. every day of my life. every day. you came in here, you asked for a haircut. you left back out, you came back i and you did this to my kids. and jeremy held my baby with a gun up to his head. and then felt on my daughter with a gun. and you told my co-worker rhonda that you were going to kill her, because she was calling the police. my life was in your hands. i didn't know if you was gonna kill me. my daughter kept saying, "mama, we gonna die." and i hold my babies and when you want to tell your kids,
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when you want to protect your kids and you can't at that moment... y'all put up seven people in the little bathroom. we didn't even know what was gonna happen to us. and right now to this day he never talk about that robbery. that was three years ago, and he just made 13. he ain't never said nothing. i don't know what's on his mind, but i just praying to ask god to don't let him hold that in. but i'm just glad that you are a changed man. you look better. but you know what? i'm... i'm okay, i'm a better person now. and i hope that, you know, you be better man. that's all i'm saying. and i hope that you are sincere. and that this man right here, i mean he helping you and he making you a better man. you could've been dead and gone, but god spared your life. this the father right here? i would like to see him hug him. because you don't owe him nothin', but you teaching him. and imagine what he thinking about.
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so it take a lot of gut to walk back on the surfaces that you did dirt on. so many cats we shake hands with and they're the same guys that broke in our house, we jt don't know it. same ones raped our sisters, our mothers, our daughters. and we know these young guys today at his age, they don't come back. the fact that today you released something in somebody and in yourself, you got to run with that. all right? >> yes, sir. it was hard. real hard. like to just relive what she went through just in her, i mean, in my eyes. but she went through it. >> when you first step in, did you remember them? >> uh-uh. >> you didn't remember them? >> not at all.
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>> it's going to be $8.25. >> all right. today, 16 years ago... these are nice. i took someone's life, pretty much. and so... hello, hi, i'm eddie. you know, on this date, in honor of the victim in my case, i try to do as many good deeds as i can. i try to reach out, to especially strangers. (woman speaking spanish) >> i've thought of, hopefully, one day, going to my victim's family and really just expressing to them how deeply sorry i am. and whether or not they accept my apology, which i don't think they will, i really just want to do this. it's just that right now, i don't think it's still right.
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the last stop of today, we're going to the cemetery to visit the family of miguel, a kid who was shot and killed a few weeks ago. you mind putting this on there for me? miguel, he got shot in the head. vanessa was actually there when this happened. he pretty much died in her arms. i think that vanessa does feel that what happened to her brother was her fault. but she can't blame herself because somebody else was ignorant, had a gun, and shot her brother.
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>> man, that lady goes there every single day. that's ( bleep ) up, man. >> so to me, on this day, same day that the victim in my case died. this is it, man. this is the end result. you took a life, now you're paying with your life. it's like, "you dumbass." >> when he finally did go and get locked away, i was like, in my mind i was like, "no, this isn't happening."
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>> my pants re devastated. i mean, my mom, she needed to sell the house here that we had in chicago to pay for the lawyer fees and... >> it was like a 180, you know. my dad was already an alcoholic. he would get drunk, and he'd express, you know, his sorrow. >> no! >> lil' mikey, he showed some initiative on getting his own job, his first real job. >> because if you don't get
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that grass up first, what's it gonna do is come right through this paper. so there's a... there's only one way to do this is to do it the right way so we don't have to redo it. okay? okay? we got an understanding. okay. thank you. >> it don't come up. she the boss. being on the block, you ain't gotta do this to make money. being with my guys all day. doing what i wanna do when i wanna do it and how i wanna do it. but as long as i'm keeping busy, i'm gonna be good. and as you can tell, this is keeping me busy.
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>> this is tiring. >> but i can't complain. life good right now, for me. i got a job. i got a job. all i used to hear, "you're a class x felon. you can't do nothing." i'm doing something. ( kids talking) >> you gonna sleep good? cuvelle, you don't got this kind of cover, do you? that's yours right there. i got these. here you go, ja'on.
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>> people text me, or they try to tell me, "oh, we just wanna know what's the truth. like, what really happened to your brother?" they're just trying to seem like they care, but they don't. >> the way we kind of spoke about it is like, vanessa will, like, catch them off guard. you would say something like, "i know you're asking because you really care about me"-- which they don't-- "i'm doing great, thanks for asking." and then... >> walk away. >> that's good. that's a good one. >> she's even doing things, like, in his honor, like the
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art group, right? >> mm-hmm. >> what did he always want to paint? >> he wanted to paint the virgin mary, but he never got the chance to do it. >> so, who's all that down there? >> my sister and me, my mom and my dad. >> that's your brother up top? >> mm-hmm. >> you gonna put it up in your room? >> no, his room. >> her grades are declining. i'm just wondering, like, if it has to do with her brother. she got into a fight, and she was suspended. this person made a comment, she was already enraged, and that was probably her boiling point. that was it. one day you might have all the strength you think you have, and you think, "you know what? i could go continue on with my life." you guys are going to the cemetery still?
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>> mm-hmm. >> how often are you guys going now? >> mmm, like try to go like three days a week. >> but then the next day, your emotions are triggered by something, and it kind of puts them back to square one. so, i don't think people ever get over it. >> i did it! >> so what else are we doing to make you beautiful today? >> i don't know. i was just going with the flow. i start school tomorrow. >> excellent. and this year's goal is what? >> to graduate. >> i got you. >> get my high school diploma. >> she was saying that, "i'm so excited," and i was excited for her. she's going with a fresh hairdo. i went today and found out
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school started three weeks ago. >> i did go to school. >> you went to school when you got the ( ble) ready to. you didn't go up there when it was time for them to go in. >> actually, yes, i did, miss ameena, you don't know that. you don't know that. >> caprysha, your counselor said you got there when you got there. >> no, i got there at 8:55, before everybody. >> caprysha. >> right. >> you didn't fight hard enough for you to get up in that school and do what you need to do. >> i ain't gotta say nothing. >> caprysha, don't nobody have to kiss your ass for you to do what you need to do for you. >> i'm still gonna be the same person at the end of the day. >> at the end of the day doing what? >> getting my life together takes time. >> time for what? you did two years out of your life. wasn't that enough time for you to get your life together? what you do is you manipulate, you do this and you do that and then you so ashamed and afraid that when i ask you to be honest with me, you can't. do you wanna be loved? absolutely.
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do you deserve to be loved? >> no. >> absolutely. >> nope. >> first thing, you gotta love you. >> oh, i love myself. >> caprysha, caprysha. when i stopped allowing the circumstances to dictate my life, when i let that "( bleep ) everybody" go, then i got real honest with my feelings-- i'm scared, i'm hurting. it's okay, though. >> well, i'm not like you to open up so easy. sorry. >> i don't open up so easy. i don't open up so easy. i open up as needed for me, because i wanna get better and continue to stay healthy. why you choose not to? >> because i like my life how it is now. >> you like your life doing what? >> ( bleep ) >> all right. well, i can't aid and abet ( bl).p i flush ( ble). >> you think everything's
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bull ( bleep ). you know what, you... >> you just said it. >> you can keep thinking everything's bullbleep ) though, real talk. >> you know, i remember being 19 and being a scared girl like that. you know, me being out there and doing a lot of things that i did, i thought that i really was getting back at the person that i thought that should come and get me. and tell me you ain't gotta live like that. man, if i could go back and make that pain go away for me today... if i could do that, i would do it in a heartbeat. and that's so... so painful for me for her. because she's gonna be my age some day.
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and it's gonna be a whole bunch of regrets. i don't even know why i'm doing this. now sitting here talking to you, there was 15 times that i just wanted to get up and walk away from you. but i didn't and i couldn't... i'm gonna be added on to the people that ( ble) her around. i'm not gonna call her again. i'm gonna be available for her at my availability. (phone ringing) >> oh, look at my man! huh, look at my main man! flamo, last time i saw you, you didn't have no uniform on. you had other things on your mind. look at you, man, you got your whole outfit. >> how you doing?
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>> how you feel, man? >>'m all right. >> you look like you doing great. trying to do stuff positive and seeing how it working. and i ain't been to jail, and i ain't been arguing and fighting. i ain't been having to shoot nobody. >> man, i'm just so happy for you. i promise you, i'm so happy for you, man. >> i hope you do feel good about yourself. because to keep it real with you, man, i had like three, four people lined up. and i was really plotting on how to get them. but you was just in my ear, you know what i'm saying? you constantly in my ear. you bugging me for a minute, you know what i'm saying? >> like a bug? >> you know how that be, like i'm sleeping, the fly keep landing on you, you know what i'm saying? you's bugging me till eventually i had tget up and attend to that fly. >> ♪ if i fall short... >> flamo! i'm going to get up with you. >> ♪ if i don't make the grade ♪ if your expectations aren't met in me today... ♪ there's always tomorrow
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or tomorrow night ♪ hang there, baby sooner or later, ♪ i know i'll get it right please don't give up on me ♪ oh, please don't give up on me ♪ i know it's late late in the game ♪ but my feelings, my true feelings ♪ haven't changed. >> next timfrontline... >> people have no idea when they're holding their cell phone what we go through. >> they are ten times more likely to die on the job than an average construction worke. >> we just had a man fall from a 200-foot tower. >> but who is responsible? >> pressure to get the jobs done.
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that's the reason people are dying. >> frontline and propublica investigate. >> i lose my husband, and they only have to pay $2,500. >> "cell tower deaths." >> the interruptecontinues online. watch extended scenes and find out what caprysha, kenneth, lil' mikey and others are doing today. >> i got a job. >> learn more about the interrupters and ceasefire's impact on chicago. >> stop. >> read an essay from producer alex kotlowitz on the traumatic impact of violence on the community. learn more about the making of the film. watch the film online. follfrontline on facebook and twitter or tell us what you think at >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for
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public broadcasting. major funding is provided by reva & david logan, committed to investigative journalism as the guardian of the public interest. with additional funding from the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and the frtline journalism nd, suorting iestitive reporting and enterprise journalism. major funding for frontline and for "the interrupters" is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. with additional funding for this program from the sundance institute documentary fund and the richard h. driehaus foundation. captioned by
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media access group at wgbh for more on this and other frontline programs, visit our website at the theatrical version of the interrupters is available on blu-ray and dvd. to order, visit or call 1-800-play-pbs. frontline is also available for download on itunes.
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